Using Electricity to Put the Baby to Sleep (Mar, 1922)
Using Electricity to Put the Baby to Sleep
By R. A. Squires
(Second Prize in “New Uses for Electricity” Contest) WHEN our baby arrived, he started life with a severe case of colic, which kept us up at all hours endeavoring to quiet him. We shortly discovered that gently shaking him up and down in his crib would induce him to be perfectly quietâ€” as long as we kept it up.
This became mighty tiresome, even when my wife and I took turns, and after a few nights we were both worn out. So I proceeded to contrive a mechanical means to shake the baby by mounting a discarded fan motor on a base secured in the lower part of the crib. I ran a belt from the small pulley on the motor to a 6-in. pulley mounted on a short piece of shaft, which was provided with two bearings and a base for attaching.
On the other end of shaft I mounted a collar and drilled it for a crankpin about 3/8 in. off center. I then made a short connecting rod, one end with a bearing to snugly fit the crankpin, the other end attached to the center of the springs in the crib. The connecting-rod was later provided with an adjustment to compensate for the baby’s weight as he grew older.
This device moves springs, mattress, baby, and all up and down about 3/4 in. in a smooth and regular manner. A means of regulating the speed was provided by the use of a small self-contained rheostat sold for dimming a lamp. The motor as usually operated consumes about 20 watts an hour.
Does it work? Well, the baby is now over a year old. He has never missed a day going to sleep with the aid of the shaker, and we have never had to stay up at night to rock him or shake his crib since we put the electric shaker to work.
The outfit is self-contained with the crib and can be placed in any room. It has a cord connection for attaching to any convenient socket.
I might add that the crib is also equipped with electric milk-warmer and night-lamp.